How to Crochet Crab Stitch Edging

How to Crochet Crab Stitch
Mollie Johanson
Overview
  • Skill Level: Beginner

Crocheted crab stitch makes an excellent edging for knit and crochet items. The stitch looks like twisted cording, but it's as easy as working single crochet stitches in reverse. It's also known as reverse single crochet because each stitch is the same as a single crochet stitch, but you work in the opposite direction. If you're right-handed, crab stitch goes from left to right, instead of right to left as with standard crochet. For left-handers, it's flipped.

Because this edging starts with a foundation row or round of single crochet, you can add this to almost anything on which you can work, even stitches. It looks great when you use a contrasting color, but for a subtler look, use the same color and simply show off the change in texture.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Crochet hook

Materials

  • Yarn

Instructions

  1. Work the Foundation Row

    Begin the crab stitch edging with a foundation row or round of single crochet stitch. Use a crochet hook that is suited for the yarn you're using. If you're adding to a crochet project, you can use the same hook size you've been working with.

    a crochet hook crocheting a stitch
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  2. Start the First Crab Stitch

    Chain 1. Without turning your work, insert the hook from front to back in the first single crochet stitch. This might feel awkward at first, but with time, it will become more natural.

    A crochet hook crab stitching
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  3. Yarn Over and Draw up a Loop

    Yarn over your hook and draw up a loop. You should have two loops on the hook.

    Tip

    The process is the same as making a standard single crochet stitch, but as you draw up the loop, it helps to turn the hook in a scooping motion. This prevents you from accidentally catching an extra loop. 

    Carefully Draw Up a Loop
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  4. Complete the First Crab Stitch

    Yarn over and draw it through both loops. You should have one loop on the hook. That completes the first crab stitch. As you add more, the corded appearance starts to show.

    A crochet hook yarning over and drawing through the loops
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  5. Adding the Next Crab Stitch

    Insert the hook into the next stitch, yarn over and draw up a loop. For this and each additional crab stitch, gently pull the working yarn to tighten the previous stitch. This helps keep the tension of the edging even and smooth.

    Insert the Hook in the Next Stitch
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
  6. Continue Adding Crab Stitch Edging

    Work one crab stitch in each single crochet stitch until you reach the end. End off the yarn and weave in the ends.

    Work Crab Stitch Across the Row
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce
    Crochet Crab Stitch Edging
    Mollie Johanson / The Spruce

Using Crab Stitch

The next time you're looking for simple crochet edging for a blanket or hem, work in reverse and add crab stitch to your project!

  • For a modern look, add crab stitch to two opposite ends of a blanket, such as a simple moss stitch baby blanket. Keep in mind that this stitch looks different on the front and back.
  • Work a repeating single crochet edging to an afghan, then finish it with a round of crab stitch.
  • Add this edging to non-knit or crochet projects by starting with blanket stitch edging, then working the single crochet stitches onto the blanket stitches.
Crochet Crab Stitch Edging
Mollie Johanson / The Spruce